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Yamaha R1 Helibars

20092 Views 31 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  Minister
No experience on the R1, but I have Heli Bars on a TL1000S and a buddy has them on a VTR1000. They are high quality and make a big difference in ride comfort. Don't let the small rise and back specs fool you, all it needs to do is tip you back a little to take weight off your wrists. I would give them a go.
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Keep in mind that by taking weight off your hands, it shifts backwards to your butt. This results in more rapid-onset buttburn, reduced front tire feedback, and (perhaps) a slight tendency for your R1 to understeer. I've experienced all these maladies upon 'Heli-barring' my old VTR1000.

Why not give the standard ergos of your (presumably) new R1 a chance to assimilate to your body (or is it the other way around?)? My experience has taught me that given enough time, the otherwise unused muscles that scream in agony after a ride on a serious sportbike strengthen to the point that they clamor down sufficiently.
Perhaps an FZ1 with lower bars is a good bike for you. They are plenty fast on public roads.
Grip/hold the gas tank with your knees !!

By doing so, you can relax your arms and shoulders.

Something MSF won't tell you because it doesn't apply to HDs

i have ridden an r1 with helibars. i have no reason to warn you against them. they seem to work just fine. my friend uses the bike to tour. obviously the wisdom of that decision may be beyond the scope of this discussion. he has a wide range of excuses for it. i think he likes to tell people he rides long distances on an r1. we all have our quirks.

i would have to line up with the people who wonder about why you want to do it. the r1's stock bars aren't that bad on a scale of back swept cruiser bars to ducati 998.

they do reduce the feel, in my opinion. maybe its just me but i need all the feel i can get on that type of bike. using risers made me feel like i was sailing a boat with a tiller. and the boat had some zip to it.
Or Gold Wings. Why is it that most MSF instructors ride HD's or GW's?

Also, while on the subject, I've talked to several people who've taken the beginning rider course who were advised by their instructor(s) not to buy anything smaller than a 750 (or something similarly moronic) or they'll quickly grow bored with their mount. Is anybody watching these people for idiocities like this? Newbies usually take what these instructors say as gospel.
Re: Helibars

Go for it; you'll be more comfortable - and that is an important point. No matter what you ride, at some point your personal comfort will reach the point of diminishing returns. It could be anything from "monkey butt" to stiffening joints, but if you ride long enough (actually, anytime you ride long enough)... you'll know.

This bike may be the current love of your life, the full flush of infatuation... but let it/her consistently treat your lower back/wrists/neck/etc... to subtle yet tawdry trauma in the throes of your two-wheeled passion, and you'll eventually be subliminally humming BB King's "The Thrill is Gone" in unguarded moments.

As you age (if you're among the fortunate...), your personal comfort becomes a more significant factor - pay close attention to what your body is trying to convey because it will have a direct impact on your situational awareness and subsequent overall safety. Motorcycling is supposed to be fun; you're likely to have more fun for a longer time if you're more comfortable.

On the other hand, if your "fun" must be measured in terms of discomfort, self-flagellation, overt martyrdom, etc... well, you may have issues beyond the scope of our humble forum.
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I put a set on my TL1000 and it was a much more comfortable ride. They were even slightly wider and gave more leverage, so turning was easier. Unless you are always on a racetrack, there is no advantage to lower bars. I don't feel my ZX9R needs them, as the bars are already where I want them to be. If your arms ache, get a set. I don't know anyone that can hold a pushup position longer than I can sit on my butt. That is why those glutes are some of the stongest muscles on your body and the arms are the weakest, because we don't normally use them to hold up our body weight.
I ride with a coworker that has a set on his 2000 R1. He had do to some experimentation with them to get correct. If you do get the Helibars, you will want to invest in a set of Triumph bar end weights. Having the right bar end weight will help deaden almost all the vibration out of the bars. the weights work great on the stock bars as well.

This setup has made it more comfortable during our 9 day, 3,000 mile trip and a recent Baby Butt 1000 ride. 1000 miles in less than 20 hours on a R1 is tough on most bikes, even more so if you are not confortable,

I currently run a set of GenMar risers on my VFR800. Between that and the custom-made gel seat, any ride is a spirited and confortable one.


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I had a 98 (first year?) R1 and put helibars on. They helped quite a bit in stop and go riding around town, but didn't make much difference on the open road because the wind blast was enough to keep the weight off the wrists. I thought it was a worthwhile mod.
For street riding they are a very worthwhile addition. I have had them on my ZX11 and now on my ZX12R and I am satisfied with the improvement. If you decide to go to the track you can always switch back to your stock bars if you want to. It only take about 15 minutes. Get them.
Hey! not all instructors

Gripping the tank was advised during the cone weaving test, to stabilize the bike

My instructor rode the 250 nighthawk during the course and rode his ducati monster home.
Why not go to for their risers? Measure how much room you have between your existing clip ons and hard parts and get the appropriate riser height.

Or, Gilles makes a slick set that are more adjustable than the 2Bros.

Heli who?
Mine rode a Bimmer. That's about as far from HD as you can get.

Gilles parts

Anyone have a good site to purchace Gilles stuff in America? I really want a pair of rearsets for my FZ-1. If the foot pegs wee just an inch or two back more I would be more comfy...

--The Fox
I installed a set of Heli Bars on my 929 because the stock bars were way too uncomfortable. The Heli Bars are not only more comfortable, the bike handles better because of the increased leverage they have over the stock bars. The finish on the Heli Bars is a powdercoated gloss black and improves the looks of the bike.

A friend of mine bought a new R1 this year and installed a set of Heli Bars for the same reason I did on my 929 and is 100% satisfied like I am with the improvement in comfort and handling.

Of the over two dozen instructors we have, about sixty percent ride sport bikes. The HD riders I try to recruit to teach (coach) don't have the time, because they are too busy riding. Kinda ironic, eh.
Buy an FZ1...on the street or track you can ride the thing to the hilt and it's comfy too. Kick ass motor when a bit detuned.

Amen to your comment. However, FWIW, the cars are bimmers, and the bikes are beemers.

Silly, but true regardless.

peace, and ride well

---(a 1990 BMW K1 owner)
Heli-Bars were installed on my 2000 CBR-929. For the 929 they are 2 inches wider, 1.25 inches taller, and 1.5 inches further back than the stock bars. It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to install them. They helped make the bike more comfortable, but are not a drastic change in riding position. They were a worthwhile change for the 929.

I now have a 2002 CBR-954, in stock form it's as comfortable as the 929 was with Heli-Bars. There's no plan (or need) to add Heli-Bars to this bike.

If you're marginally uncomfortable on the R-1, Heli-Bars will help. If you're extremely uncomfortable on the R-1, get a different bike.
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